Samsung Gear 2
Samsung’s latest bit of Gear is more worthy of your time
The Gear 2 is a cross between the all-metal look of the Pebble Steel and the plastic of the Sony SmartWatch 2. With the bulbous camera that disfigured the first Galaxy Gear (note “Galaxy” be gone) scaled down and built into the watch frame, it’s a pretty wearable thing.
Samsung’s also shifted the home button from the side to the front, smartphone-style. It’s 5g lighter than the original Gear and 1mm thinner, but the screen is still 1.63 inches with an improved super AMOLED resolution. It’s waterproof to 1m now, too.
Setup has been simplified, and NFC is no longer a prerequisite – with our good, batterysapping friend Bluetooth you’re good to go – with instant connection and a range that we managed to stretch to 150 metres.
Once synced you will receive message and call notifications, though texts take a whopping 10 minutes to appear on your wrist after arriving on your phone, so don’t use it for emergencies. The device also lets you answer calls without getting your phone out and the mic delivers your voice reasonably clearly without having to speak into your wrist.
There aren’t a lot of apps available for the Gear 2, but the essentials are covered, giving email, text and social network notifications, and we’re promised more are on the way soon. Before you can download any new apps, though, you’ll need to download GearManager to your phone. But not just any Android device will do, as only 18 Samsung devices are supported, including the Galaxy S5 and a fistful of Notes.
The Gear 2’s one unique feature is that built-in, two-meg camera. It’s tough to frame pics with and the quality isn’t great, so as USPs go it’s not exactly amazing. It certainly improves on its predecessor and feels slick, but the price and limited compatibility mean its still got a way to go. Love New streamlined look. S Voice for answering calls and dictating texts. Features aplenty Hate Compatible with only a handful of Samsung phones. Few apps currently available. Pricey T3 Says While not a must-have by any means, it’s a slick, handy add-on for Samsung fans